Archive for the ‘Health Insurance Takeover’ Category

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

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Twelve Provocations

He is bigger than me, nasty, and cruel – the bully, assigned the seat behind me in 4th grade. Every few minutes, he reaches forward and tweaks my ear. I quietly seethe in growing anger, but continue to hope his harassment will cease. It is not to be. In an instant reaction of boiling rage, I rise, whirl, and attack. After getting in a few good hits and some choice words, I am sent to the principal’s office feeling relieved and rather proud.

The Bully

The Bully

The Obama Administration has been tweaking the American people’s ears for 17 months. Each time a new story breaks, it is another drip in the water torture of those who value their country and way of life and wish to preserve it. The retaliation will begin in November. Let’s look at a few of the reasons.

Stimulus Bill: Well north of $800 Billion is committed to this blatant purchase of public employee and union loyalty. The vast bulk of this pork barrel is targeted at maintaining employment in the public sector – not at energizing private, wealth producing industry.

TARP Automaker Bailout: Diverting money from a financial bailout fund, GM and Chrysler were forced into a perverted form of “bankruptcy” directed by the Obama Administration. Bond holders were ripped off and the UAW paid off. Instead of allowing the courts to settle the issues, the Administration propped up zombie companies solely to preserve union pensions, dues, and votes at taxpayer expense.

Blame America First: The President never misses an opportunity either at home or overseas to criticize America for deeds of the past and lecture citizens on the unfairness of our free economy and lifestyles. Americans want a President to lead and support them – not continuously degrade the nation’s accomplishments and the efforts of its entrepreneurs.

Close Guantanamo Bay: This idea was inept foolishness, and has not been accomplished. Americans do not want terrorists on US soil and feel they should be dealt with fairly, by the military, in a far away place.

Terror Trials in NYC: Based on PC instead of common sense, the Administration’s promise to hold the trials of the 9/11 defendants in New York in a civilian court instead of relying on a Military Tribunal has enraged millions. There is no cogent excuse for this decision and the pushback has been massive and widespread.

Health Care Bill: Against the will of the majority of the American people, this monstrous 2700 page bill was passed into law before anyone could read and understand its unintended consequences. Sold partly as a way to “bend the cost curve down”, recent developments have pointed to the exact opposite. Doctors are trying to sell their practices to escape the business. Major firms are charging huge amounts against future earnings, and it is estimated that half of those presently insured will lose the coverage they have within 3 years.

Border Security: The Administration has avoided securing the border apparently for political reasons, the security of the American people and the rule of law be damned. Out of desperation Arizona passed a law to enable local authorities to participate in the apprehension of illegal immigrants and turn them over to ICE. Instead of enforcing Federal law, the Administration is suing Arizona!

Cap & Trade legislation: In the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s, and after candidate Obama’s admission that “energy costs will necessarily skyrocket”, the Administration plans to push for passage of “Cap & Trade”. This will create a huge market in carbon credits ripe for manipulation and punish job creating businesses with crushing increases in costs. It will kill yet more jobs when we least need such results.

Oil Spill response: Two months of uncontrolled oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has fouled beaches, smothered fish, drowned wildlife, and tossed thousands out of their life’s work. Foreign countries’ offers of aid are spurned by the Administration out of hubris and refusal to suspend the Jones Act. Instead of gathering experts and planning a response, a “commission” consisting of anti-oil zealots is appointed and deep oil drilling is prohibited for 6 months throwing thousands more out of work. There is no direction and no clear lines of authority. Operations and plans by states and municipalities to protect themselves are quashed by federal bureaucracies. Throughout this time, the President plays golf, throws parties, and attends private concerts. The Nero Administration is totally dysfunctional while the greatest environmental catastrophe in America’s history runs amok with no coordinated reaction.

Spending: No Administration in history has spent more money, most of borrowed from China and future generations, than this one. The Federal Budget Deficit has quadrupled on an annual basis and these tankers full of red ink are projected as far as the eye can see. This has to be reversed immediately by stopping the Administration in its tracks before the plunge toward national bankruptcy and the destruction of our children’s’ future is irrevocable.

Tax Increases: The Administration is rubbing its hands together awaiting an expected increase in revenue from the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts. Unfortunately the consequence is that businesses are allocating as much revenue as possible into 2010, and hoarding cash. This is a recipe for compounding and prolonging the recession since money on the sidelines cannot create jobs through purchasing and expansion.

McChrystal Article: The Afghan people live in and prefer the 7th century. Attempting to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st goes against their grain. They have proudly defeated outside invaders for a thousand years and see no reason to quit now. Presidential preferences (Bush and Obama) to eliminate opium cultivation, turn Islam from a lifestyle into a religion, stand up a secular democracy, and eliminate the Taliban may be a bridge too far. Obama already canned one general, and now fires McChrystal over an article in which the general and his staff let their guards down badly. This is not the President’s fault directly, but the overlapping and confused lines of authority between the military and various civilian officials are similar to the oil spill debacle. The apparent lack of direct leadership and control from the Oval Office cannot help but add to the impression that the Administration is in way over its head.

Foreign Relations: The act of sending the Churchill bust back to England and presenting schlocky DVDs to the British Prime Minister was crass. The ill treatment of the Israeli Prime Minister was inexcusable. Pulling the plug on missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic was pathetic, and expecting the Iranian Mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions by smiling at them is naive at best. Dissing Honduras after the court legally deposed a President and leaving Columbia twisting in the wind on trade are alerting our historical allies that the US is not a dependable partner. Bowing to foreign heads of state is unacceptable conduct by an American President. Jimmy Carter may yet live to see himself elevated in history by the abject performance of this President.

The Obama Administration is the bully, the American people; its victims. Our ears are stinging from this continued abuse. As Americans it is our duty to the nation and its future to whirl and fight back. Your opportunity to vote this November must not be missed.

The Gift

In late 1941, WW II had been raging for over two years.  Britain was holding out alone in Europe and Hitler’s Panzers were within sight of Moscow.  With the horrors of WW I fresh, the United States wanted no more foreign entanglements.

FDR knew the US would have to enter the war on the side of the Allies.  Allowing the Axis Powers to absorb huge populations and untold natural resources would eventually create powers too big to defeat.  Every farm, oil well, rubber tree, factory, and military age man absorbed by the Axis meant another increment of strength to our enemies.  What – if anything – could awaken the American people to the growing and imminent threat to our very existence as a free republic?

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto stepped up with a perverse and tragic gift on December 7th.  The horrific news of the attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized the American people as nothing else could.  The intense anger following that sneak attack combined with the sober realization that half the world’s modern military strength was arrayed against us stoked the determination to destroy our enemies.  The acute realization that our nation was in mortal danger of becoming an Axis conquest awoke the instinct of self preservation.  From that moment on, America was at war to win.

The Obama Administration is our generation’s domestic Pearl Harbor.  We must take advantage of it to preserve our country for future generations.  Barack Obama has given us a priceless gift if we are strong, smart, and organized enough to use it to our advantage. It is an attack on our freedom, liberties, way of life, and our children’s future, from within. It is an assault on America’s greatness, the destruction of her exceptionalism, and the squandering of her prosperity.  It is up to us and like minded people throughout the land to seize on this gift and turn it to our advantage.

In my adult lifetime, America’s population has increased about 40%.  In that same time, the proportion of people dependent on, or working for government has increased by over 270%.  A whopping 30% of all Americans are currently either working for government or receiving some sort of assistance, transfer payment, or entitlement.

The currently employed labor force is about 45% of our total population.  Almost half of them pay no taxes whatsoever, so that further dilutes the number supporting the 30% to around 22.5%.  If you pay taxes, you are not only supporting yourself, but also more than one person on government programs or employment.  The imbalance of these numbers gets worse by the year.  It is the slow bleeding of our fiscal stability on the path to inevitable to economic suicide.

Obama and his cadre of hacks, elitists, sycophants, czars, camp followers, and assorted & sundry buffoons are ratcheting up every handout, entitlement, and subsidy they can to increase dependency on government.  These burgeoning government giveaways are no different than the farms, oil wells, factories, mills, and young men that were being swept into the maw of the Axis war machine. Each new handout buys strength for the Obama welfare state juggernaut.  Senator Jim DeMint stated that “A dependent voter is a dependable vote.” Obama is buying as many as he can with money as yet unearned by those yet unborn.

This is the path so disastrously trod before us by Greece, and being quickly followed by Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Hungary.  Our future is unfolding before us in Europe this very minute.  The only preventative measure that will save us from a similar fate is to emasculate the Obama Administration in November with our votes. While we are at it, let’s broom out a few dozen Bush-era RINOs who don’t concern themselves with our future any more than the current regime.

Here is deficit spending compared to a cross country road trip.  It will give some perspective:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!

Just for clarification; that line did not come from the mouth of some famous leader back in history.  It originated as a typing class drill by a teacher named Charles E. Weller in about 1867.

Then and Now

Huey Long rose to power in the grinding years of the Great Depression on promises of wealth redistribution. He firmly believed that the economic pie was finite, and that the “haves” of the day only got that way by taking from the “have-nots.” His motto was “Every Man a King”, and he spread his mantra far and wide garnering enthusiastic support from those suffering truly hard times with no end in sight. Long had a rather direct outlook on how to overcome his political adversaries. “I used to try to get things done by saying “please.”  Now…I dynamite ’em out of my path.”

Barack Obama rose from obscurity to the highest office in the land with similar methods. He has great charisma and an outlook similar to Long’s. He also believes that wealth earned or possessed by those of means was somehow stolen from the more deserving poor. The destitution of certain sectors of society is in Obama’s view; not the result of their own actions or lack thereof, but instead the fault of those better off.

President Obama seems to enjoy the role of demagogue; railing against bankers, doctors, insurance companies, financial executives, and even a Cambridge cop who arrested one of his pals. He is pushing for yet higher taxes on “the rich” while doubling the Food Stamp program, increasing domestic discretionary spending by 25%, and borrowing almost $3 Trillion to fund his policies.

President Obama sincerely believes that bigger government, more regulation, and massive deficit spending will cure all ills. His cabinet members and assorted “czars” with similar views encourage him to frantically push huge legislative acts toward law as fast as possible knowing their window will close with the loss of Congress in 2011. If he is successful at enacting Cap & Trade, Financial Reform, and Immigration Reform on top of Health Care, our national economy will be choking on the myriad unintended consequences of thousands of pages of new laws and regulations. An exponential expansion of debt and entitlement promises that will destroy our future accompanies these grandiose visions of European style “social justice”.

Here are 3 short clips where President Obama states his true intentions prior to the election. Americans should have paid a bit more attention then:

Governor Long and President Obama share important similarities. Both had admirable charisma when campaigning, and promised: “If you vote for me I will give you free stuff”. Both skillfully wielded the weapon of demonizing their chosen targets – the “rich”, the business world, and, and their political opponents. Lastly, they share a compelling need to exercise total power over their opponents. Ramming Health Care through Congress with procedural legerdemain against the will of nearly 60% of the American people comes pretty close to “dynamite them out of my path.”

Now have a quick peek at the dirty baggage the Obama Administration has empowered. If this does not shock the beejesus out of any sane American – nothing will:

Freakonomics Idea

Obamacare will cause people to take better care of themselves, which will lead to a healthier America according to Stephen Dubner, the co-author of Super Freakonomics. Obamacare will ultimately benefit the populace because people are basically animals. When the environment around them changes, people change to meet the new circumstances.

Most Americans have health insurance. The people who earn insurance by virtue of having a job or paying premiums themselves are rewarded with small co-pays for doctor visits and often, low deductibles for major treatments. These folks or their employer pay a certain amount each year to an insurance company. In return, the person gets what seems to be “free” health care in the finest medical institutions in the world.

Knowing that unlimited care is always available, it is very easy to softly abuse oneself with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, overeating, lack of exercise, and any number of bad habits that lead to ill health. This brings to mind the old joke about having to weigh at least 300 pounds to trigger the Wal-Mart automatic door. Those shoppers subconsciously realize that if they fold a knee joint, develop diabetes, or cough up a lung, all they have to do is show up and be cured. What motivation do they have to take good care of themselves – none!

Patience please – the real door-trigger folks show up in the second half!

Enter Obamacare: About 30 million new participants will now be insured by fiat – many at taxpayer expense. They will also act like medical treatment is free and just a phone call away. More medical services will be used nationwide. This aspect will strain the capacity of our present system. Meanwhile the devil’s brew of government domination over private insurance will try to control costs by increasing paperwork and paying doctors less to perform more procedures. Two studies ** have shown that doctors under such pressure will begin to retire early or switch to other careers. More patients with more ailments visiting fewer doctors will lead to shortages and waits. Whether dictated by government or by necessity, the result will be rationing of care of some sort.

Here is where the behavioral adjustment will come in. Rational people will realize that medical care – free or not – is not what it used to be. Waiting periods for treatments will lengthen. Replacement physicians will be imported from abroad on H1-B visas and certified after minimal American internships. The quality of care and hospital conditions will in all likelihood deteriorate, leading to eventual government takeovers. The result will be that many Americans will want to avoid serious medical treatment at all costs knowing it could lead to a potentially less than perfect outcome. The idea of trusting oneself to a hospital run by the Postal Workers Union will cause many to do everything in their power to avoid such a necessity.

Wal-Mart shoppers will bypass the supersize doughnuts and purchase salads instead. Gym business will increase along with exercise equipment sales. Health food securities will soar while fast food stocks tank. Jogging shoes will fly off the shelves. Alcohol sales will suffer, and smoking will decline. Sports on the big screen will become touch football games in the great outdoors. Nutri-System and Jenny Craig will triple in size and sales.

The journey to a healthier America may have begun. It won’t happen the way our President envisioned.

**
http://www.themedicusfirm.com/pages/medicus-media-survey-reveals-impact-health-reform

The Medicus Firm is a respected physician search and retainment company with offices in Dallas and Atlanta.

Investor’s Business Daily conducted a similar poll in August, 2009 with 1376 responses and came to almost identical conclusions. The report was panned in the press at the time. The Medicus poll confirms the IBD results.

McKenna

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna represents the majority of American people who understand that a society supported by burgeoning entitlements is unsustainable. Our Constitution was written to protect us from the Government – not to allow it to control our private, personal decisions. His joining with 13 other State Attorneys General to challenge the constitutionality of  ObamaCare is much appreciated.

Present US national debt combined with the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is approximately $117 TRILLION – BEFORE adding the monstrous health care program. Over the years the federal government has piled up promises to pay that amount with no visible means of support to do so.

Just for comparative purposes, that much money would make 336 STACKS of $100 bills each of which would reach the International Space Station from the earth’s surface. A baby born today owes about $381,107 with its first breath as does every other living American. Democrats like to borrow from future generations or dragoon money from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t. Republicans often do the same in support of earmarks, subsidies, and anything they think will buy a few votes. Who will be holding the debt sack when the music stops and China quits funding our shortfalls? Hint: Many of them are not born yet.

The supporters of Health Care Reform insisted the program was deficit neutral. However if one were to take a sensible look at the broken promises of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs over time, a reasonable person could only expect the same future cost explosion with health care. The duplicity of double counting Medicare “savings” and separating out the $209 Billion “Doc Fix” are obvious to all who wish to see. Larding the bill with bribes and payoffs like the “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase” to assure passage stinks to high heaven.

My beloved little Goddaughter will be paying for this myopic foolishness long after we who squandered her future are gone. Our elected officials are present time oriented and refuse to consider history or contemplate the future. They exist in the here and now; caring only about what makes them feel good in the moment and what it takes to cling to office. Playing Robin Hood with other peoples’ money provides instant gratification along with votes. They care not a whit about the damage their inane spending and massive borrowing will eventually lead to.

Folks who choose to believe in this massive “entitlement” nonsense and support it are welcome to do so. However, please remember that the proverbial road to Hades is paved with good intentions. The European Union is desperately dealing with a half dozen member states that are drowning in debt largely caused by excessive entitlement spending. Present US programs are growing exponentially at the same time the number of workers paying in is shrinking relative to the recipient burden. Now we are told that 30 million more people can be insured basically at taxpayers’ expense and it will not increase the deficit? Perhaps the Tooth fairy may step in to assist.

Foolish and Dangerous

President Obama has just informed an Indonesian interviewer that the massive health care entitlement, which will add trillions more to our deficit over time is: “the most important domestic agenda” in America. American unemployment is nearly 10%. Our national debt is at $13 Trillion and over $3 Trillion is being added in 2009 and 2010. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are basically bankrupt. President Obama has just added yet one more monstrous entitlement to those we already cannot sustain.

The Health Care debate consumed over a year of the administration’s and Congress’ time. The Senate Bill and the House Reconciliation Bill will soon be signed into law. So far 13 State Attorneys General are suing the Federal Government to prevent the mandates included in the Bill from taking effect in their states. These actions will gum up the court system and embroil the legislation in protracted legal battles for months or years.

This massive misallocation of legislative resources is keeping the government and the economy at near paralysis. The American people are spending inordinate amounts of time and money fighting this law. Businesses are frozen in fear of higher taxes and penalties included in the Bill. For instance, Caterpillar just charged $100 Million against earnings for the additional costs on them alone. Investors are deeply concerned about threatened higher taxes on capital gains, rental, and dividend income. Without confident investors, jobs do not get created.

There is only one type of person who could seriously believe that health care in this fragile economy is the most important legislative goal. That person must have absolutely no business experience or understanding of basic economic principles. I give you “Exhibit 1” – President Obama. His experience is as a professor, lawyer, community organizer, and legislator. He has never met a payroll, exercised executive responsibilities, nor faced the challenges and demands of a businessman or investor. His sincere but erroneous belief is that wealth must be forcibly taken from those who produce it and given to those who do not. He obviously slept through any economics classes he was forced to take, or Paul Krugman was the instructor. When you say: “Adam Smith”, Obama thinks of that squishy liberal Congressman from Washington State – not the man who wrote Wealth of Nations.

As the economy continues its unstable drift into an unknown future, Obama and his gang of czars and sycophants continue to tax, spend, and borrow in their futile and dangerous quest for wealth redistribution instead of wealth creation. These actions bleed ambition from the entrepreneurial and creative risk takers while breeding dependency into additional sectors of the population.

Bill Clinton was travelling a similar path until 1994. The American people awoke and peacefully rebelled. A sea change in Congress forced him into a saner direction. Barack Obama needs a similar wake-up call. He shall receive it this coming November.